Thursday, January 28, 2010
The water crisis of last week is behind us, but the effects may remain for years to come. It proved to be a pivotal moment in this city's Renaissance. We should heed the truths revealed to us during those days of crisis as we move forward.
The first obviously is that Mother Nature is a powerful woman. Despite your best theories, the best-laid plans of mice and men go awry when the weather goes haywire. Houses are built to withstand tornados. Buildings are boarded up to survive a hurricane's wrath. Walls are built to keep water out. But calamities are going to happen and sometimes, when they do, man will be defeated. So to me, the supposition that this can be laid at the feet of the current administration is a flimsy one. Especially when you are talking about a problem that began and even worsened several administrations ago.
It's easy to be a Monday morning quarterback when you spend most of your time watching the game from the sidelines. Unless you're a public-works genius or a mutant that lives in the pipes under the city, no one knew when the water system would fail. The best we know is that they worked up until this month, and now we know that we need to replace them. The next thing we can surmise is that although he didn't create the problemor could have prevented itthis crisis happened during Mayor Johnson's watch, and it's his problem to fix. Right now.
Another truth was revealed, although it's no huge secret. There are a lot of folks in the surrounding bedroom communities who circle like vultures waiting for the demise of our fair city. You never know who your friends are until times of conflict. It's time for all you ProJacks to circle the wagons and come to the sad realization that we need to look out for ourselves and demand our respect as this state's capital city.
How many of us watched and read comment after comment in chat rooms gloating at our misfortune? How many of us heard folks denounce our "leadership"? How many saw non-Jackson businessmen, restaurateurs and lawmakers use the water crisis as a chance to coax people their direction? How many of us will continue to buy into this phantom "metro" concept when it's clear that the cities around us don't want to play ball?
Methinks it's time to embrace the fact that we are the big dogs of this state, and start acting like it. Those who criticize us bask in the very security and prosperity that we provide for them, and then summarily mock us. They openly compete for new business and attempt to steal our current businesses. A lot of suburbanites work in our city but pay no taxes to us whatsoever. I for one am sick of it! These communities would wither and crumble if Jackson fails, but don't lift a finger to support the city. Legislators from outside the capital city do little to support it.
As we celebrate the Best of Jackson this week, let us start believing that Jackson is the best. Our city is experiencing a rebirthone I'm proud to say I'm a part of. But until we force a change in the mentality of those who surround us, it won't be the huge victory we expect.
We have a lot to celebrate. The best restaurants, the best musicians, the best festivals, some of the best and brightest people in the state.
We don't deserve the ridicule and definitely shouldn't stand idly by and take it.
This week spend your money exclusively in Jackson. Eat in Jackson. Shop in Jackson. Party in Jackson. Move back to Jackson. Play your part.
And that's the truth ... sho-nuff.
The water crisis is not behind me. Thanks to the City cutting off the water to my area, I couldn't leave a tap running to keep my pipes from busting and now I got a busted pipe under my house. I can't fix it myself, I certainly can't afford a plumber and the City won't take responsibility for it. (Haven't had a busted pipe in the 16 years I've owned this house thanks to my diligence so, yeah, it IS their fault.) Please don't say that the City couldn't foresee this when it happens every time there is a good freeze. They should have taken care of the clusterpluck a long time ago. I know that living in South Jackson means my opinion doesn't matter (We're ALWAYS last to get services restored) but I think Job One for this administration should be to fix the water system. Going a week without water is unacceptable. I've never been more ashamed of my City when crews from other towns had to come fix our problems. Remember Harvey, fix the effing pipes then move on to other problems.